Get Control of the Muse By Fantasy Author Sandy Lender
It took some time to do, but I achieved a monumental success. I gained complete control of my muse. He’s a handsome devil. Anyone who’s familiar with my fantasy novels CHOICES MEANT FOR GODS and CHOICES MEANT FOR KINGS knows him. Nigel Taiman. He’s broody, restless, comfortable in the shadows of his family’s mountain estate where he quietly notices the indiscretions of his teenage brother Jake and shames the boy when his father neglects to. He’s the tall, dark, handsome hero whose forced manual labor has sculpted him into a fine specimen of a man. Yummmm.
He’s also a demanding muse that I’ve manipulated into a marketing machine here in our world. Yes, Nigel might believe he’s got some sort of power over my writing binges, waking me at all hours of the night with ideas for rewrites and edits to scenes I considered complete, but, in truth, I hold the reins here. Case in point: I’ve got him doing some writing of his own these days. He sends out promotional material over the World Wide Web via a blog at http://sandylender.blogspot.com.
What I find interesting about Nigel’s approach to marketing is how he wraps his suggestions for plot developments in the stories I’m writing around suggestions for blog posts. We can be skipping our third meal of the day and he’ll pretend to have “just come up with” some grand idea for marketing by placing a scene on the blog. Of course, I’m the one who has to write the scene for him to post because I can’t have him preparing portions of the fantasy novels that my publisher reads.
But I have all of these episodes under control. I can elect to ignore him when I’m driving in traffic and he appears with an idea because I have the muse under control. It’s my choice to hold the “car notepad” against the steering wheel and jot down his ramblings. And I can elect to shut him out when I’m soaking in a hot bubble bath and he decides I’ve gotten his lovely Amanda Chariss into too tight a spot in the current manuscript. It’s my choice to grab the spiral notebook I keep next to the tub/shower for such emergencies and jot down his ideas for how to get her out of trouble. Even now as I type this essay for LASR, I can elect to ignore Nigel’s badgering about his scene with Brendan Naegling in the parlor of Arcana, but, he really does have a good point. I should go see to it.
“Some days, I just want the dragon to win.”